How much does a landscape design plan cost?
A landscape plan is charged at $80.00 per hour. Our "Quick Design" service usually takes between 3-6 hours to complete. Small areas may take less time and our minimum fee, for up to one hour, is an $80 flat fee. The process begins with a free, up to one hour design consultation meeting at your home to have a look at the yard, meet each other, and to be sure a design is actually needed. We do offer to credit the design fee back to you if we do the installation but the design cost should be 10% of the cost of the work being performed. Click here to see design examples.
Is Artworks Landscaping licensed and insured?
Yes. We are a registered landscape contractors (#1429) with the state of N.C. and Artworks Landscaping & Design is fully insured protecting your property as well as our employees while on your property working. We are also Certified Plant Professionals a certification received by The N.C. Association of Nurserymen. We are proud to be licensed pesticide applicators and you can be assured that all chemicals are being handled properly while at your house and applied according to the laws of N.C. We are also ICPI Certified to install interlocking concrete paver walkways, patios and driveways.
Do I need a landscape design drawn for me?
It is usually a good idea to have some sort of drawing or sketch done by our designer who will meet with you day one, especially if you are interested in having large or multiple areas worked on. However, if you are comfortable with your designer or the area is small a drawing may not always be needed.
Can we use another designer's drawing and have Artworks install it?
Yes...we have in many situations worked off a landscape architect's plan or another landscape designer's drawing that was hired by the homeowner prior to meeting us. Some landscape companies subcontract out their landscape designs to someone outside of the company and then work off that designer's plan. This process is not necessary with Artworks because not only is your initial meeting with our in-house designer but that same designer will ensure that the entire process of installation is being implemented as the designer and homeowner envisioned.
Will I need to bring in new soil?
For trees, shrubs, and perennials/annuals the answer is almost always: "yes." The native soil in our area, for the most part, is a heavy red clay, the stuff bricks are made from. Native plants grown from seed and spread by Mother Nature obviously do well in this soil but a new tree or shrub grown in a container will typically stress heavily when planted in this soil type. We build up new beds with a certified compost blend of turkey/chicken manure, compost, soil conditioner, and screened topsoil. There are always exceptions of course and some yards we have worked in have nice native soil and our plants have thrived, but, 9 times out of ten, the existing soil needs help. When laying sod (warm season or fescue) or seeding (fescue) the answer varies. Believe it or not clay is not always a bad thing as long as it is either heavily aerated when seeding takes place or lightly tilled when sodding.
When is the best time to plant?
The general answer to this question is: fall. The misconception people have is that it is bad to plant trees and shrubs at any other time of the year... and that is wrong. Spring is a fine time to plant and the winter is great too. Our winters are typically very mild and the ground rarely deep freezes here and there are many winter months where the guys come to work in shorts or short-sleeved shirts. The reason fall is considered the best time to plant is because the air has cooled from the summer but the ground is still warm... this encourages a good root system to form prior to the next growing season. Our recommendation is to never plant when the ground is frozen or if it is mid-July to August and you feel like you are on the Equator.
Should I be using a warm season grass or a cool season grass?
Recently we endured the worst drought in 100 years of historical records here in NC. The warm season grasses (Zoysia, Bermuda, & Centipede) all made it through pretty well. Fescue (a cool season grass) did not do so "hot" and most Fescue lawns were pretty much gone by the end of the summer. This does not mean we are warm season endorsers... we are big fans of fescue as well. Both warm season grasses and cool season grasses have their own pros and cons that you will ultimately need to weigh out: Warm season grasses are drought tolerant and look great May-Sept but they turn brown in the winter...Bermuda needs to be mowed often in order to prevent scalping...usually laying sod is the best or only way to get a new warm season lawn and that is costlier than seed...they will fill in dead patches within the lawn by creeping but it will also creep into your planting beds...their color tends to be brighter like apple green and weeds are easier to see in warm season lawns during the winter months...water requirements are minimal. Fescue is not at all drought tolerant but if watered sparingly in the summer it will hopefully make it to the fall...Fescue is dark green year round except when very hot or dry for several days...Fescue should be over-seeded annually in the fall to keep it looking it's best and this is usually the only way to fill in dead patches...Fescue can be seeded or put down as sod with great results either way.
What is so great about interlocking pavers?
Interlocking concrete pavers have been around since the days of The Roman Empire and a lot of their paver streets are still around and used to this day. Pavers have a lot of pros as compared to their few cons. They are "middle of the road" in cost coming in slightly higher than poured and stamped concrete but much cheaper than a flagstone patio would cost. They are set on a compacted aggregate base instead of a concrete slab and this allows the entire patio to expand and contract with the heat and the cold so there is never any cracking. The material we use between each paver, called Polymeric Sand, hardens like mortar when dry but it allows water to penetrate so water does not stand or freeze on top of the patio. Pavers come in a wide assortment of size and color and there are even pavers that look like flagstone now. We do recommend sealing your paver patio with a Paver Sealant because they do not repel clay stains, grease, oil, or other hard to remove substances. The sealant not only repels stains but, depending on the finish chosen (dry, matte, or wet-look), it can also draw out more of the color within the paver block as well.